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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 8, 2014 10:15am-12:31pm EDT

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but to start with, you've got to move because there was no ice on the planet back then, right? so the ocean was 70 meters higher, right? so that's the first thing. the second thing is we involved, and my daughter asked me recently what would be my scariest thought about climate change. i said, we are designed -- we have a body temperature, a core temperature around 37 degrees, our skin temperature better be 35. if it's not, we overheat. we can get rid of thermal heat by sap rahtive cooling. it turns out nobody on the planet -- nowhere on the planet is the due point temperature above 31 degrees c. warming models suggest that with every degree warming, you get a three-quarter degree increase in the temperature. makes sense that you will.
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i would have thought it's one to one, but the models say it's only three-quarters. so if you get six degrees warmer, you actually literally cannot go outside. but we weren't around in the times things were like this, and surely we could evolve. if you give it enough time. but we won't. right? and so the scenario which scares me the most is that you actually have to go -- you cannot go outside, and you rely on air-conditioning for dear life. it's not a convenience. it's otherwise to you cannot make it. and we know that from mining. miners going into very deep mines have to wear ice vests in order to manage their body temperature. and that's because the humidity there is high, and the temperature is high. in arizona you can sweat, and you cool, right? in 36 degree dew point temperature, as the meteorologists call it red bulb
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temperature, you actually cannot survive. so life could get rough, right? and we are making changes on a scale evolution didn't really have to deal with. and i would argue at some level it's an insurance issue. i would go one step further. where's your pain threshold? i mean, if it's 5,000 ppm, you actually have health problems. that's also known, right? but lower numbers we will have a pain threshold. at some point the coral reefs will dissolve, around 1200 ppm. because the ocean got acidic enough that coral reefs cannot dissolve. it turns out calcium carbonate is super saturated. at 1200 ppm, it's not. so we all have some pain threshold. so my view is when i started, i
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said it's way too early to tell about climate change how reliable all these details are are. that was in 1993 or so. i took the point of view maybe 400 is fine, maybe 500 is fine, maybe 800 is fine. but one of those numbers is your limit. and the problem i cannot tell you what it is, i also don't know what your pain threshold is. if you really get upset about the polar bears being gone, we need to stop a lot earlier. if that's something the world doesn't care about, we can go a little further. but we will have to stop somewhere, because the pain got large enough. and so what convinced me back then is we have to go to a net zero carbon economy period. the only question is when. so the worst mistake i can make is that i'm 50 years too early. >> i get all that. i made those arguments with my brother, and he's a very intelligence guy. but it doesn't -- intelligent guy. but it doesn't convince him in
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the he's. and i don't think he's untippable. >> let me -- untypical. >> let me try another to thing out. let me say for the sake of argument for 50 cents a ton of co2 the problem is solved. would he invest into that? >> sure -- [inaudible] >> because, because i have, i have the impression -- and this is part of the political debate -- i have the impression that this is typical human nature. if i tell you, you really have to change your ways in order to avoid some damage, you're going to tell me i'm lying because you really don't want to change your ways. so i'm arguing a lot of that denial is literally that, it's denial. i don't want to hear it because it really changes my life. so the reason i'm working on technological fixes in a way is because i want to get out of that debate, right? i don't want to tell you that you have to change your life. we can have that debate offline for other reasons. we can argue whether you should live this way or not to, but i don't want to tie it to climate
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change. i want to say you pay a little bit of money, and the problem is gone. and there's a risk insurance because bad things can happen. because we don't know what the planet will do, and you wouldn't like to the live in an ice age, nor would you like how the planet looked like when it was 3000 pm. it wasn't our planet. yes. >> dr. lakner, i'm -- [inaudible] your one-ton unit, how much energy does it use, number one. and secondly, if you did a life cycle analysis of the energy that went into the building of the unit which sometimes you can see charts where windmills made in china with electricity from coal power might -- >> [inaudible] >> -- more co2 than they saved,
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have you done this analysis? what is that -- how energy intensive is the unit? where would you get the energy in your desert environment? just sort of a little bit more on that. >> okay: simple, rough, back of the envelopes. a ton a day is a quarter -- [inaudible] a second. i just told you it's 50 kill la jewels per mole, so divide by four, you have about 12, 13 kilowatt of power consumption in the is system arkansas edge -- in the system averaged out. the net total is that i would emit some co2 elsewhere in that process. but this is just comparing the operational process. i cannot really do a life cycle until we have a real unit, but i can give you a rough rule of thumb. most equipment has a few times its own weight in co2. and if you look at this thing, it's tons of stuff.
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as a matter of fact, i know exactly how much carbon is in the resin, right, pause it's effectively oil -- because it's effectively oil. so give or take, take that weight a few times. since we are collecting one ton a day in weeks to month i have collected more co2 than is embedded into the machine. now, i can't tell you this within a fact or two accuracy because the actual machine hasn't been designed, but i'm reasonably confident, it's the same argument for a car. i can guarantee you that over its lifetime it puts out a lot more co 2, than went into making it. here this is an inverse car. as a matter of fact, it's like 15 cars running all the time. it collects far more co2 than its own weight and, therefore, something had to be horribly bad
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in its own carbon footprinting for it to not make good on this in a short time. >> the second question, i'd like you to elaborate. you mentioned the tree, you showed a picture of a tree, looks like an artificial tree, and then you alluded to a thousand -- could you elaborate a little bit the bicep be fits of this machine versus just planting more trees? probably a question you get all the time. >> well, the analogy i would make can you draw a plow with a horse? of course you can. would you rather pull it with a tractor, right? yes. the tractor is not good at horse racing, and it doesn't look all that good either compared to the horses, right? but the bottom line is we are specialists in collecting co2. we absorb per unit area of leaf equivalence, surface area over which we make contact, significantly more. if i'm going to call it right, 10, 20 times more.
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but we also don't worry about shading our leaves, right? so we, therefore, can pack them a lot more tightly. so as a consequence, if you gave me an object which is the size of a tree, has the cross-section like a tree and the wind blows through, in our case you can tell the co2 on the other side is notice write lower n. the -- noticeably lower n. the tree's case, you cannot. the bottom line is we are over the lifetime of the tree if you divide that by the number of days, you come out about a thousand apart. >> doug obie, inside clean epa energy report. two questions, at least one of which may be really premature. the first question is could you just clarify again, you're explaining this but i'm not an
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engineer, could you explain what the status of this technology is maybe in terms of how many years away is this from either a unit or commercial viability, and the other question i have is, is there any regulator around, you know, in the u.s. or elsewhere that's actually talking about giving any kind of regulatory credit for somebody who comes up with a widget that does air capture? or is that discussion premature? thanks. >> the first question, let me tell you where we are. you saw in one of the pictures, i think you alluded to it, a prototype which worked, actually, slightly differently which was about size of a doorway. what we have right now in our system is laboratory scale things. but they do work the entire loop. so we can actually, we can actually have air in the lab just move by the fans in the air
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and the air-handling system in the room is good enough to do this. the system will load up co2, the material will give it back up, and we can get it back up to 5%. my goal for the next year or is to actually have a small device outside which runs continuously, can be monitored, and you can watch for, on the web, and it'll tell you how much co2 it collected today and all of that. so at that level, we are right now. how long it will take from that to industrial scale depends an awful lot on how much impetus is there. the companies who are all in this space have sort of splurged money for years, and then they're looking for more money, and that all takes time. it's a tedious and slow process. if there were a large program to make this happen, i think in a matter of a few years you could see whether we are making progress or not, and you could have this thing operating at a
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reasonable scale which, for me, would be kilograms to hundreds of kilograms a day in a practical manner. my goal is to have something like that at the university in a matter of three, four years. and if i have the budge for that, i certainly -- the budget for that, i certainly can to that. if i have to scrounge for the budget, i'll get delayed, right? [laughter] so the scale moving forward from there is very difficult can. it depends on what environment you're in. the start-ups all started from the presumption that there is nobody to help them and that they have to find an economic market that is driven by its own dynamics. and that's not all that easy, particularly if you're looking for venture capital. if i come to you with greenhouses, most venture guys say this can never grow to a multibillion dollar affair, so forget it. and if i say how about carbon
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sequestration, they say, well, but there's no regulation which makes that happen, so forget it. so you are caught in that no man's land, and it's hard to get out. right now a new company has started, i think it's a little premature to talk about it in detail, but they do want to feed co2 to greenhouses, and i don't think they talk about a decadal time scale. they want to be in a few years. so i think we are at the verge of something, but we are not there. if you compared me, i would say we are like windmills in the 1950s and '60s. we are like solar panels in the '60s. yes, it works, but we are far from really being there. and that's why i take so lace in the fact that -- solace that they got a hundred times cheaper over time. so we have to learn that too.
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but you could argue that that version of that solar panel actually already exists because the space station has to scrub out its co2, right? but their price is no object. and by the way, that was exactly what happened to the first solar panel, right? it was out on the spacecraft, and price was no object. so nobody pushed the cost down. so here, too, what is different for us is that it has to relent willsly drive the -- relentlessly drive the cost down, and if you don't succeed with that, you need -- my view is you can only find it out by doing. so you can think of this as a bet you have to place, and you may lose it. if you ask me, the chances of losing it are very, very, very small. if you are not directly involved, you may say he's not right about this, he has a 30% chance of losing. but i think it's worth trying because the potential benefit is
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enormous. and the only way to find out is you can't learn by doing without doing. >> mark -- [inaudible] from "the guardian." so is kilimanjaro still an operating entity, and are they still pursuing this technology? that's the first question. the second is, do you have a point of view about the alternative technologies that the other start-ups are pursuing? do you think -- do you see a path for them to get to the $100-a-ton or lower threshold? >> kilimanjaro is still operating entity. they are right now pursue -- can pushing other things more than direct air capture. so i'm, i'm fairly far removed there in san francisco, i'm in new york. but they exist, they are planning to do things.
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right? the other players, i would argue, it varies. first i would say keep in mind if we hadn't stumbled into the humid the city swing and -- humidity swing and decided this is so much better than anything else we saw, we would be doing something very similar to global thermostat, right? because we're looking at all sorts of ab sor wants, and we were expecting to have to do a thermal swing. i think using sodium or to be it is a yum hydroxide to carbonate is really an uphill battle. and if you go back to 1999 when i wrote the first paper on it, i said this demonstrates that it can be be done, but we've got to get off that hydroxide. so i have the least belief in technologies like david's, david
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keith's, which used that. there are we started there. we made it work. we had a machine which was fairly big and worked extremely well. we decided we don't want to play this game any longer. we need to find better ways of doing it, right? but we learned a lot from that exercise, and so i think all of the competitors learn a lot from their exercises and gradually they will get better in their various natures. if you asked me to operate in the tropics, it's very miserable. we wrote a paper not that long ago where we tried out the kagulan islands because a colleague of mine said this is the place to be. for us it's miserable because it's cold and rainy. for me it was a good exercise to see whether i could make it work or not. cost is a factor too, but golly gee, we made it work, right?
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we did it in the lab, of course, but we actually created conditions, wind speeds, very cold, cold around -- slightly above freezing, rainy kind of temperatures. it's like iceland, right? and we found we can make it work, but each in the paper -- even in the paper this is something for somebody with a thermal swing. it's not designed for us, right? this is an uphill battle for our technology. so i actually expect that there will be multiple technologies, right? for different applications. we haven't really begun b to explore the space of different resin -- [inaudible] we haven't really begun to look at all of that. so i think there's an enormous amount of room, and so you are asking a question going, sticking with your analogy about going a hundred -- a little earlier and saying should the car have a steam engine, should the car have an electric engine?
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well, in the end, you have a car. and sometimes you revisit this r50 years later. so there are lots of various technologies, and i think these thermal swings can get there too. if you insist on pushing the air with the fan, you have very limited power to do that because otherwise you run out of budget. but it is doable. so i think among all the players there are a lot of good ideas, and how this will play out only time can tell. but, again, if it can do this in an academic setting, i can try out all sorts of technologies not necessarily tied to a particular player. and so that's what i really want to do, is build a group which can cross universities, talk to different industrial partners and make different things work. i think that's how we have to make it happen. yes. >> [inaudible] from georgetown university.
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the costs of a device, maybe talk about the economics of it. the costs of it are borne by an individual or maybe even a national government, but the benefits of co2 around the world, the benefits are felt by everyone. how do you figure that sort of, the economics of this, the incentives working across the world? >> well, right now we are trying to put individual countries and convince them to have a cap, right? and kyoto style and its successive meetings haven't really been all that successful. but assume that you come in from the trade side and you say, you know, you are putting out far more co2 than we do, and you are exporting goods into this country, and we have rules about it. because, ultimately, this is the
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tragedy of the commons, and you have to find a way of dealing with them. if you don't have one big guy who can control it, you have to figure it out and -- [inaudible] so you say, okay, if you do that, we'll import these goods, but we will adjust your carbon balance accordingly. and we will charge that as a condition of bringing it in. and you might even get it through the wto because you actually didn't charge a tariff, you performed a service. so it is not impossible, but it's a very big, uphill battle. that is the fundamental challenge not just for capture, but everything in the carbon space. this goes back to your question in a round about way, how do we convince everybody to play? and one of the things air capture does change is it says if you don't play, i can do it on your behalf, and, a, i'm mad because i had to the pay for it and, b, i'll try to stick it
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back to you, right? and that's new because before everybody said, well, now that it's out, there's nothing we can do anymore, right? so that actually does change the debate. yes. >> you describe the ideal climatic conditions or hydrologic conditions for setting up one of these thingsing? desert environment? >> ours? >> yes. >> ours specifically? >> yeah. >> because there are different systems with different features. ours likes dry air. i'm, my sort of qualitative whether this is a good place is to ask how long does it take a towel to dry, right? if you can't dry a towel on a line, we can't run at all. and the longer it takes you to dry that towel, the harder it is for us to run. so for us the perfect place is a desert because it's warm, and things dry incredibly fast.
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right? then it is ready to pick up co2 very, very rapidly, and now the next part is i do need water to get it back. so i don't want to be in a place where access to water is impossible. we have several methods of doing it, some of them can actually use sea water. one way of doing this is to actually coat our material with a porous surface which is extremely hydrophobic. co2 will go through, water vapor will go through, but saltwater will not. we actually demonstrated that, we actually took tyvek which is, you know, the construction material? you can wrap our stuff in tyvek and dip it into water, and it will reviews its co2 in saltwater, and it will not pick up the salt. >> will is wind -- is wind effective? >> that's a complicated question. the way i would answer it wind
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is necessary if you have -- think of this as a box. i put it up, and the air can go through. if no air goes through, i will take whatever air is in it, and i strip all of the co2 out, and it stops. so i need a flow. now, if you tell me the flow is very, very slow, then what i will do is i will saw my box into thinner boxes and put them side by side. right now our dominant cost is the box, not the frame which holds it. as long as that is true, we can let the wind speed go down and be out. basically, you tell me what is your minimum wind speed at which you want to run, and i tell you how thick your boxes are. and the lower your wind speed, the smaller i have to make it. if you tell me -- so it's like a sale, and the sail has thickness. and the lower the wind speed, the thinner it has to be.
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so we can operate down to half a meter a second which is really, really low wind speed. if you get below that, things really mess up. >> is it cost effective, and how much water would you need? >> we right now, we have run outside, and we can wash the dust off. yes, it collects dust, there's no question about it. [laughter] right? but if you hose it off, it's just fine, right? we've found that if you, we actually were near a power plant for a while, and we could actually see a gradual deterioration because of so2. you can wash it in sodium carbonate, and it recovers completely. so those things, those things are fine. but we use about, our water consumption is roughly ten to one. if you grow corp., it's a thousand or two thousand to one. so i have a colleague at oxford who actually argues we should do
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this in order to grow crops indoor in places that don't have enough rainfall be, and we could operate at 1% of the natural rainfall if we harvested that, we would still be operating because we'd only need that much water. so he says you could grow crops ip doors -- indoors in the entire sahara because the rainfall is everywhere at least 1% of what you need to actually grow crops outside. so he sees it as a water-conserving mechanism by putting a lid on the plant growth. and and that's a possibility. but we are consuming water. we could be consuming brackish water or sea water. it's easier if you give me freshwater, but it doesn't have to be di, it doesn't have to be ultrapure. >> [inaudible]
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from comet wire. could you go over how the resin works again to capture the co2? >> i didn't? >> you go over how the resin works to -- >> okay. the resin we purchased is fairly common if you go to dow, it's so sold as marathon a. there are a number of companies who have similar ones. they are typically polysty leans, and they have quite an area of immoan yum ion as the positive charge embedded into that resin. so think of having a nitrogen atom with a positive charge and four connections to the polymer resin behind i. and these charges have a counter-ion which when you buy the stuff is a chloride. so there are positive charges and negative charges, and you can wash this in high driving while intoxicated sid or -- hydroxide, and the chloride ions
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get washed out, and the hydroxide ions will replace them. so when we started, we said that stuff has to pick up co2 because it's a high driving while hydro. and we liked it because we had up until this moment worked with materials dipped into sodium hydroxide solutions, so we wanted to know whether this is faster or slower, and i made a prediction it will be significantly faster picking up co2 because it's centlated, the surfaces are rough, and it should go faster. sure enough, when we took it in the hydroxide form, it absorbed co2 roughly 15 times faster than the parallel sheet which which s soaked in sodium hydroxide, one mole or two mole of solution. then what we noticed is the sodium hydroxide solution exposed to air will become a carbonate, and then it stops because it's now in equilibrium with the 400 ppm of co2. it cannot go to bicarbonate. we noticed early on that we picked up way too much co2.
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as we started to measure it, it became very clear our the stuff was going straight to the bicarbonate. so every single hydroxide converted itself into a bicarbonate ion, and then it'd stop. we then noticed fist we had -- this is why we stumbled into it. we had some irregularities in the data we couldn't understand until we finally realized we didn't control for the moisture level. now that we controlled for the moisture level, we suddenly saw that the loading state we ended up was extremely sensitive to the water loading of the material. and so what we then found is that the water controls the affinity to co2. if it's dry, it has 500 times higher equilibrium, lower equilibrium partial pressure than when it's wet. and so, therefore, you can load it all the way to the bicarbonate at 400 ppmx if you
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then dip it in water or expose it to 100 percent humidity, it will go in a small, confined volume all the way to 20%co2. but then the moment it unloads, it starts dropping, and we found that we can hold roughly 5% in a system with a little bit of counterstreaming as at the exit we can hold a stream with 5%co2 in the exit. or if we did it in a vacuum, we could hold 5% of an atmosphere of co2 in that unit and then extract that from the system. and that's what we did. one way of doing it, by the way, is we used liquid nitrogen to just freeze it out, and we instantly created two atmospheres of co2 by letting it warm up again. so there are various ways, then, to transfer that out on. but the basic concept as far as we can tell is that the hydration clouds of these carbonate ions in these tiny pockets of polymer, right?
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actually act differently than in free water when you're almost fully wet in a way. and as these ions, the hydration clouds shrink, the relative equilibrium between carbonate, bicarbonate and hydroxide shifts in favor of getting rid of the carbonate in favor of bicarbonate and the hydroxide. and the hydroxide has a high affinity to co2. so that's how it seems to happen. we are now building molecular dynamics mold els, but the -- models, but the preliminary answers look like we can actually recreate this phenomenon in sill cope. it actually -- silicone. it actually works in the computer. you actually see a humidity effect there as well. if you take, for example, two graphene sheets, put some charges on the sheets and then put water molecules and
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carbonate ions in there, you see the same shift in equilibrium we see in the real roll hers. so you see it at least quantitatively. so we believe this all makes sense. we now have to do a lot of speck toss coby and work out the details, but we also found nobody has the instrumentation to do this. people haven't really studied systems where you have absorbent with two strongly interacting soap aids because both water and both co2 get absorbed from the system, but they strongly interact with each other. and what actually happens is when you put the system in equilibrium and you say i'm now e quick rated with co2 and water and i now feed it a little bit of extra co2, we can actually observe that that co2 dose on, and six -- dose -- goes on, and
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six waters come off in order to compensate. if on the other hand you push on some water by raising the water pressure a little, it then spits out some co2. as a consequence, while it's absorbing co2 on the outside, it actually cools because it's pushing water -- sorry. it's pushing water out, right? and the energy that makes this work, and that's why people say therm no dynamics can't work because he's getting something for nothing. no, we don't. the energy for that we can account for, and it comes out just right. so that was a more technical -- [laughter] >> are there any other questions? be okay. well, thank you so much. >> so i ran you ragged or you ran me ragged, i'm not sure. [laughter] [applause]
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thank you. >> less than 12 hours after president obama announced he was authorizing u.s. military strikes against extremist forces in iraq that pose a threat to iraqi civilians or americans stationed in the country, u.s. forces today dropped bombs on a truck carrying artillery equipment. according to the associated press, the pentagon said that militants were using the equipment to shell kurdish forces defending i bill. white house press secretary josh earnest scheduled to brief reporters today at 12:45 eastern where we expect to hear more about the strike and the u.s. involvement this iraq. we'll have that live here on c-span2. house speaker john boehner releasing a statement reacting to today's military action saying in part: >> and members of congress also reacting on twitter to the
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administration's decision to use military force. >> we want you to join in the conversation. go to facebook.com/c-span and share your thoughts. >> c-span2's booktv this weekend. tonight at eight eastern with books on marriage equality, the obamas versus the clintons and the autobiography of former mayor of washington marion barry jr., saturday at 10 p.m. eastern on "after words," bob woodward
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interviews john deep on the -- dean on the watergate scandal. and on sunday the lie bear's past, present and future. booktv, television for serious readers. >> a panel of republican and democratic strategists recently discussed the potential impact of the la too know know -- latino vote in the upcoming midterm elections and and how the hispanic community views recent efforts at immigration reform in congress. hosted by the national association of latino elected and appointmented officials -- appointed officials, this runs an hour. >> it's an exciting year politically as well. so as you all know in 131 days, will be election day in terms of the midterm election. what we would like to do to start off the conference today is put this in a political context as to how we expect the latino vote and candidates to do in the midterm elections.
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it's one of the major themes of this conference. the chair discussed some of the other major themes we'll be working on. but certainly, the elections are top of mind at the moment. as we talk about 2014, let's make sure we put this in context about 2010, because when we compare elections, it's only fair to compare a midterm to a midterm. so let's not forget what happened back in 2010's midterm elections where the latino vote had a decisive impact. the democrats would only -- are in control of the senate today because of the elections of these two senators, senator michael bennett of colorado and senator march arely reid of nevada -- harry reid of nevada. the vote was decisive in senator reid's re-election campaign and senator bennett's bid to be elected for the first time.
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in that election 6.6 million latinos voted, and they comprised just under 7% of the latino vote. also important of the 2010 election were the real significant milestones that were achieved by latinos in the republican party. marco rubio was elected to the united states senate. the first latina governor of any state was elected in 2010, susanne that martinez, in new mexico. first latino governor of nevada and a number of latinos in the u.s. house of representatives more than doubled from three to seven. although it's not an election we should compare the midterm elections to, let's not forget the decisive impact latinos had in election 2012 where 11.2 million that tee knows went to the polls -- latinos went to the polls comprising 8.4 % of the nation's electorate, 5% increase over 2008. and we know that the latino vote
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had a major impact in some of the decisive campaigns in swing states. so as we look towards 2014, let's look at how the latino vote is continuing to increase. we are making strides. if you look at this chart that follows the trajectory of the latino vote in midterm elections from 1994 to 2010, we see that in every single election cycle there's been a steady increase in the number of latino votest. that's the blue line. and it tracks very closely to the green line which is the number of latino registered voters. but let's keep our eye on that red line. that line is the number of latinos who are eligible to vote. and the truth is that that population continues to grow faster than the population of latinos who actually vote. so the challenge before us is to make sure that we engage latinos as they enter the electorate.
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every single year 50,000 latinos turn 18 years of age. these are u.s. citizens. so every single day, and i forget the math on this, i think every single day it's something like 2,000 latinos become eligible to vote in this country. so we have our work cut out for us. in terms of how many latinos will show up to the polls this november, the naleo education fund released its projections earlier this year. we're expecting that 7.8 million latinos will vote in november. now, that's an 18% increase over the 2010 numbers, and we will make up 7.8% of the national share of all voters. so, again, we're making strides. the latino vote is growing. but i'll be honest with you, for naleo, it is not growing fast enough. and later, throughout the next three days, we'll be talking a
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little bit more about what we are doing to make sure we engage the latino electorate, grow our numbers. and part of the conversation this morning will be about some other initiatives that are being undertaken to also increase the latino electorate. placing this election in context, there are some political factors that will shape the latino vote. it'll shape where latinos are mobilized to go out and vote, it'll shape how they vote and the choices they make. now, immigration reform is top of mind, certainly, to everybody in this room and to latinos across the country. traditionally and historically, the immigration reform has not been the number one issue for latino voters. and in many respects, it makes sense. if you are a voter, you're a citizen. you're born here or you're a naturalized citizen, so you don't have a personal immigration issue to resolve. but as the issue has continued to be part of the public discourse since 2000 and as more
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and more latino citizens know personally a latino who is undocumented, the importance and saliency of this issue has increased to the point where -- and we'll have one of our panelists address this -- immigration itself has risen to the top of the issues that latino voters care about in elections. so one of the questions will be what does it mean that immigration reform has not yet passed both houses of congress? what will it mean for november 2014? and we'll be talking about that in a couple of minutes. some other things that will be affecting the la too e know -- latino vote include the situation and the condition of the federal voting rights act. the voting rights act has been a powerful tool since 1965 to make sure that every single american citizen is able to vote free of discrimination. last year the united states supreme court in shell by v.
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holder -- shelby v. holder declared section four unconstitutional meaning that section five, which required preclearance of any change in election practices by nine states and a number of counties, that that formula for determining who was subject to preclearance was unconstitutional. so as a result of the shelby decision, texas, alabama and mississippi have imposed voter id laws that, in how view and -- in our view and the view of the evidence, have a vim that tire -- discriminatory impact. and arizona and kansas are two of the states that are trying to strengthen the ability to impose proof of citizenship requirements in voter registration. so the environment itself is becoming more challenging to insure that latinos are able to vote, motivated to vote and vote free of discrimination. now, a little bit about what is
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happening in terms of candidates in 2014. we expect that two of the latino governors who were elected in 2010 have excellent opportunities to be reelected in 2014. both governor martinez and governor sandoval are running strong campaigns for re-election. and snag's happening in -- something that's happening in new england. in the state of rhode island, the mayor of providence, dominican-american, is running an extremely competitive campaign for governor of rhode island. that primary will be september 9th. we'll see if he makes it through the primary and then in the competition for november. there are also a number of latinos running for the number two offices in their states. joe garcia who's the incumbent in colorado is up for re-election, carlos lopez cantera who was appointed in january of 2014 is now running on the ticket with governor be
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scott. she will be with us this, later at this conference if not already in the room, assemblymember lucy flores of nevada running for lieutenant governor in her state. john sanchez, the incumbent governor of new mexico running for re-election, and a former naleo board member and former recipient of the edward r. roible award is running for lieutenant governor this texas. so some exciting and interesting races for the number two spots in states across the country. other significant statewide contests that we'll be keeping an eye on very closely in november includes state senator alex padilla -- [applause] who is running for california's secretary of state. he was a top vote getter in california's primary. and that's as much as i'm going to say about his election. [laughter]
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former deputy secretary of state nelly gorbea, again, another thing that's happening in rhode island, she herself is running for secretary of state there in rhode island, and we hope she makes it past the september primary. in terms of attorney general races, sean reyes who was appointed attorney general is running for his first term as an elected attorney general in utah, and a former member of the naleo education fund board of directors, hector val derras running in new mexico. again, interesting and fascinating races that we're focusing on very closely. other statewide races, robert aragon running for state auditor in new mexico, rick lopez for state treasurer in that state, and george p. bush -- perhaps continuing the willing legacy of the bush family -- running for land commissioner in texas. of course, the entire house of representatives is up for re-election, all 435 seats.
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we expect the vast majority of the la -- latinos and latinas who are running for re-election to be reelected. but there are some very close races that are in the mix in this election throughout the country. here in california representative raul reese who defeated incumbent mary bono two years ago is running for re-election and has a very competitive race against assemblymember brian nastandi. joe garcia who also ran and was elected in florida, first hispanic democrat to be elected to congress from florida, is running against a competitive field of republicans. that primary is august 26th, and we'll see who will be challenging him in what expects to be, we expect to be a very competitive race. one of the districts in texas has changed hands between political parties several times in the past decade, it currently is being held by democrat pete
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gallego to, and he will be facing business consultant will herd in another district that both parties are investing tremendous resources in. and then also here in california, in california's 21st district in the central valley, being challenged by amanda renterria, closely watched by both political parties in terms of the swing nature of all four of these districts. ..
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the number of latinos we expect to turn out, the impact we had in 2010 and 2012 and now to talk about the impact in the political context of 2014 and goin2014 i amgoing to invite myd panelists to put this in the context and explain to us what they are doing to make a difference. as i introduce you please come out and join me. first we will start with my friend who began his career for u.s. congressman richard casey and after serving several years as an elected official himself he served as the george w. bush
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administration department of interior and associate director of the office white house where we first had the opportunity of working together. his experience also in the private sector served as the producer and today as the director of the initiative that advances the principles of economic freedom by developing a network of activists throughout the united states. then we have doctor victoria who is a fellow at the center for politics is governance at texas. she was named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by divers magazine and received a phd from duke university. her academic experience centers on campaigns, immigration,
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women, race and policies. she's a contributor to msnbc and a regular political analyst for telemundo. welcome back. [applause] the third panelist is a good friend of president of the latino victory project nonpartisan effort to build political power in the community by equipping leaders for public office while building a permanent base to support them. prior to joining the project we spent five years in philanthropy serving in the ford foundation where he invested more than $16 million to increase political participation. most recently named by washington life magazine as one of the most influential leaders under 40 which is quite a feat given that he moved about three months ago.
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[laughter] please welcome all three of the panelists. [applause] would start with doctor francesco if you can give an overview of what this is going to mean for latinos and what the vote. >> i'm going to start off with a question that i frequently get which is who cares about what he knows and people don't say it that wasee itthat way but it uss about in terms of latinos are the fastest growing population but they are third in terms of the turnout behind african-americans and white. so we see this question being posed and it is a valid question and these are facts, but i want
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to answer this question and i want to answer this question with facts and empirical data and i'm going to be really blunt. we matter partly because we are having a lot of babies case in point. baby max is going to be born the september before the 2032 presidential elections. i'm not saying that i planned it this way that right now h. is a liability for our community. the average age of latinos is ten years below that of the african-americans. so 27 as opposed to 37.
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looking at the latino destination, north carolina, arkansas, tennessee the average rate is 15. black, white, latino, young folks, they have other stuff going on in their lives. teenagers and twentysomethings they are doing other things. but what i want us to keep our eye on is the brute force of demographic change. so there's that aspect of it and another one that i want to highlight is poly science 101 tells us that the poor folks in folks with less education are also less likely to turn out and vote. get latinos have historically had little or education rates and lower income rates but if we just look at the ecstatic number we are losing sight of the
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dynamics and the last couple of years dennis and his remarks alluded to this we have made huge strides with our educational attainment. they've done a fabulous job of tracking these educational games. the last year we saw the latino college enrollment surpassed that of white college enrollme enrollment. high school dropouts are dropping. so in addition to the demographic force we have rising levels of education at the same time we have increases in economic attainment because we had it beaten out of us during the great recession. our community suffered the most i think it was 66 or 68% of our wealth that we lost and ironically those that are the poorest and have the most to
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gain from being politically involved usually don't vote but what we see is the rising tide of economic attainment we are gaining on and this is also going to push us to the polls so that's the first part of my answer to why do latinos matter. second is because we are swinging. but he knows how swing tendencies. compared to african-americans and white, latinos have the biggest chunk of independent voters. in the last couple elections latinos have tended towards the democratic party but let's not forget about the early 2000's and living in texas i see a very vibrant republican latino relationship even in the midst of the strange immigration issues. so we know that they also matter because of that middle ground
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that they inhabit and geographically speaking they tend to be in a lot of the big swing states. florida, nevada, new mexico and then we see growing populations in ohio and virginia. so what he knows matter not just because of the middle they occupied the political entrepreneurs know it and are going after them and want to pull them in. i have 37 seconds left so i'm going to wrap it up. i don't want them to get tough on me. i would love to talk leader in the q-and-a about the battle of texas because i think it is a beautiful example of how you see this demographic force this attainment of economic power bubbling up and the democrats and republicans are going for
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the latino vote and we are seeing it in this election for 2014 and this is what is to come nationally so with that i will wrap it up. thank you. [applause] we will certainly talk about the battleground of texas. fortunately we have three on this panel -- daniel, the initiative you are obviously coming at this from the perspective of reaching conservative voters and growing the electorate. tell us about the initiative and what plans we have. >> we feel it's important and demographic comics status is
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that latinos get a sense of ownership in the process. puerto rico has the highest participation rates when it comes to voting because they own the island. they can control the political and policy outcomes of the island so we need to create the same sort of environment. we engage latinos by talking about the market principles by talking about the virtues of capitalism and the free market rule of law and why we should have a limited government check the power of those that would govern but this remaining country of the people, by the people and for the people and so by doing that, by engaging with churches and chambers of commerce and college universities wherever they congregate and meet we feel we can engage folks and do the outreach and in fact control the destiny of the political outcomes and policy outcomes are
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obviously we have a conservative perspective attack at the 'pars benefited from the latino vote. every presidential race the republican party candidate has never injured a majority of the hispanic vote based at the high water mark at 45% and that is a given. what's important is that we understand the conversation in the communitandthe community thn dominated by the left to their credit. the value of the growing demographics in the latino community and they capitalized on it by spending resources and people to engage in the latino vote. so what i have seen as a web server is on the conservative
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side there is the election of duty advancing the principle that you believe will make the society better to improve the lives of those that are at the bottom. what are those policies that generate prosperity and what are the policies that generate poverty? we should be having an honest conversation in the community about these issues directly in the latino community so i think the republican party has had a that approach to this. the free market would sell itself to the community because look at who we say we are we self identify as conservatives. 32% identify as moderates and 30% as liberals so the vast majority is agreeing with you at any given time in the community which is the whole effect that you're talking about but we
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haven't been courted effectively and so if the left has the union engaging in hollywood celebrities that are promoting the progressive policies if they have the party that is dedicating resources and time with that they may be running with the left packages on policy on an 8-1 ratio that universities are much more liberal. they haven't rejected the conservatives will republican candidates because of what they believe. there's been an absence of a conversation about the free market and about the self-reliance and hard work and about what makes america strong. so we aim to drive that conversation.
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even i think in a state like texas where 44% self identify as democrats and house republicans. they are conservative candidates because various i think so much open field for so long that now as conservatives to engage, all hispanics who go to the highest office in the republican party based on republican votes as an opportunity if they engage into this by the way is the opportunity that they came up with. so i will wrap up by saying that the conversation needs to be driven by the republican party and they stand to gain more because they are so far behind if they increase the percentage is just a little bit they will
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gain a lot. >> do me a favor and pass this on to our friend. i've separated them by the pregnant woman. [laughter] which probably is a good time to remind us all that's what makes it special is the expression of everybody's perspectives then and ideas respecting all of them but also engaging and challenging each other. it's been a key length me his jacket. i luggage didn't come in yesterday. [applause] at the end of the day we are all latinos and we all have to work together to find ways to get it done and i want to talk to you for a few minutes an and turn bk if i could go to the powerpoint going back to the question about
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values and what brings us together and try to start with a very personal story like a lot of folks in this room and othe others. my parents came into this country like yours as an american dream. she didn't get to that plan because she was working in the fields but by the time i'd rather came around she did everything she could so we could have the chance that she didn't have. my brother always wanted to be president and my mom said if you put your heart and mind to it you can achieve whatever you want and he said he wanted to be president of the united states. he is autistic and he will never be president and he knows that
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but he votes in every single cycling and he knows voting is his voice. at the same time and you mentioned this at the beginning across the country there are states that are introducing laws that are designed to suppress the vote on people like my brother they have a disproportionate impact on the latino community and the brennan center estimates they will lose the right to vottheir right to f the attacks on voting. in my home state of texas the past of a law that says if you have the university of texas student id card you can't vote but if you have a handgun permit, no problem and you can see what they are designed to convey her past for elliptical reasons should they have a different idea about the values and principles and they know they can't win with our community on those to be honest so what they are doing is shaping the vote and working to suppress the latino political power and it's the same reason why that right won't pass the reform. they don't want us to vote.
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i have to say that and i'm sorry to say that. and if these anti-voting laws and efforts are not asked not it keeps us from building political power. we talked about this milestone in 2012 or down the record participation rate. that's the serious problem. as a result of the political participation we have the latino elected officials. the room should be bigger. we shouldn't have twice as many latinos in the country and only 28 representatives in congress. we should have twice or more than that. of the phrases into similar names on the ballot you are less likely to vote so it is it is e that depresses the turnout we have to change that.
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we are falling behind on other demographics and i'm running out of time so i will see this very briefly. what happens if we are successful and we changed the game clicks that is what led to the hollywood actress and the visionaries to launch the project with the goal and if we are successful, what can happen is this you see the picture on the valley the u.s. census adds 1200 voters but only 150 turned out to vote in a given election. they pressed the authorities and what they were told is why bother nobody out their votes anyway. they pressed him and said what would it take to show the proof of life and the local official said the 300 votes. so she took him up on that offer into the turned up more than 500 voters for the local election.
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[applause] this is the same road a year and a half later that's what happens when we have accountability and people turn out to vote we have to take every city and state in the country and we will finally have the true latino political power. when we do that we have to do things differently, and how were our voices come support future leaders and invest in our communities that's what we are working to develop the project. when we are successful, the values which are american values will be reflected in the policies that drive the country forward and placed duty to what those values are scored at the top of the charts when it comes to the environment. we have access to affordable and universal it means we have access to the ample education and the immigrants come out of the shadows.
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i started the beginning by talking about my brother who always wanted to be president. on that day she was able to go to by pure coincidence on the record they went and got a picture of him and we had the trend at home that's made the front page and was the best day of his life so for our brothers and sisters and families we have to work together to pave the road. >> we have a little bit of time to get into this and i want to go first to doctor francesco.
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what do the institutions mean clicks if you've been studying latino politics and now we have these independent in the cushions approaching the latino vote from a partisan political perspective and. it's more than they would ever do being squarely in the middle of the nonpartisan. it is the lifeblood of the democracies of the fact that we have the two gentlemen have different political perspectives to be his wonderful.
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beyond that, beyond where they are in the political perspective, one thing that is pleasant for me is to cbi on the money because at the end of the day in politics whether you like it or you don't like it we run on money in the political system and in order to run and be viable, you need that funding so this is where the future of the maturation of the latino politics lays not just people saying i'm on this side of the spectrum or that one, but literally putting their money where their mouth is. >> money where their mouth is. your institutions came out of the fund. this was the other's efforts to bring money into the political system. the economic power is really
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being part of the pillar of the development, so money is a common thread here. what is money from your perspective what about money and the political -- >> frankly whether it is the chamber of commerce or any kind of institution the accumulation with sufficiency of capital is critical to advancing any kind of effort or messages or advocacy that he wants to do. so you are right about that. and you are limited in what you can do but it also positions you to do things you normally wouldn't do so it's critical that we do that and i think as a community, you know, we have evolved. we have stepped up when it comes to being able to get donations from americans that are aligned. i'm a conservative. that's what i believe.
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they are going to join you. >> last year on the stage one of the founders in the capacity as a member of the dnc he was talking about how latinos have benefited into the democratic party benefited from latino participation but he also sat there and was faced by the latino cabinet and he admitted that they had not been achieved. is the democratic party at risk of using latinos and in those efforts because of the neglect or taking it for granted? >> we can't be taken for granted by any party or candidate.
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for the future of the country than we have to take the future in our own hands and get it done ourselves and that is also connect it to this money question and it's important we talk about that because our community isn't used to talking about this question. of the fund broke the code and figured out how to we get them engaged in the process and they voted in record numbers and flex their financial level for the first time and for us what that means is to be successful and increase the number that are elected and get you more numbers, we need to invest in our own community an and it's wy we launched this program called the first. we have the oldest daughter, the first educational milestone in the family because the first lawyer and a doctor and software engineer. they call them the ceo of the family so we need to identify and work with them for a political. they are the leaders in the
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family and will be the ones that delivered the first latino president of the united states. [applause] >> i wanted to sum up. we need to put into our community that notion of writing checks. the anglo community is able to do that. they've just become accustomed to doing it. it's not part of our routine and it's part of something we need to start. i don't care if it's $5 or 100,000. great. we know from the political research that once you do something you are more likely to keep doing it over and over again. so they are really critical in that tradition.
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in the political organization only 25%. it's no wonder that only 38% are that turnout rate for texas violated florida that 62%. folks are getting the word about the issues that matter to them. that is the effort we are involved in is to get the message into the community. it's a marketplace of ideas and money is critical. >> let's talk about texas because it is the big prizes increasingly so anprize isincret continues even bigger price in california if takes up the congressional seats in the last redistricting reapportionment
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because of the growth of latinos in the state 65% of the growth is latino. they turned texas from red to purple to blue. i think you are looking at that strategy. how are you going to stop that? >> we want more hispanic engagement and conservative hispanics. that's not a secret agenda. that's what we are about to turn texas blue goes against everything we are about. so of course it is a threat to us and we have to engage. we have to get into the communities and work with churches and our partners on the ground. we are also creating a volunteer force. we will have 3,000 folks that will be on the ground helping us
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to advance conservative principles and ideas talking about the marketplace and limited government and we are already on our way to end listing those folks. we have offices in texas and san antonio so that's what it's all about. it's engagement and at the same time it is an opportunity to engage the young man to get them involved in the process of a certain age they can begin to see the process from the inside. the community was on the outside looking in and that's why in the 60s and 70 the 70s we had to march and protest it was uncomfortable to do that but that is the only solution that we have. it is a new generation that is sophisticated and his name the congressional offices.
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those on the left and the right and left go back to that because there are a lot right now still marching in the streets and still holding the set ends and we will get into the immigration topic in a second, but are there realistic prospects. it's going to change and it is just a matter of when. for us and we are taking the the lonlong view we are a startup organization because in 2020, you have some things that rarely happened at the same time which is a presidential election and the latino majority in the two biggest states, california and texas. we have to be ready for that with the pipeline and above resources and ready to get them to vote because if we are
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successfully turn on the record numbers of the voters and elect a candidate draw the redistricting line and help draw the policy with values in the balance of the century so it's important we get everything in place including texas to have that kind of impact. i like daniel, and i think that he's on it and what he said is accurate. the firm he has hired to do the ads that are reflecting the candidates and i don't like to see the initiative for the money attacks the latino candidates for things like immigration but the reason i point this out is we have a couple of people in texas that can change the state starting now.
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in el paso he has put his neck out for immigration and we've got texas that would be the first latina statewide governor who is a rising star. >> it is to demonize the messenger and so what happens is he says the left doesn't play politics either. the left doesn't message to position their ideas. everything we do his fact check and we have to stand by it and it has to be above the board and so we are going to have that conversation and we are not going to back down.
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we don't want a centralized government or the collectivism. we don't want the policy that leans more towards dependency instead of self-reliance. when their ideas are not good for the country and in fact i believe strongly the principles are what is better for the community and i will drive the conversation regardless of the sentiment of the express. [applause] it's a tremendous jump to the community and. i want to start with you if you can give some back ground in the capacity working with the latino
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decision doing some really excellent polling overall about this issue and seeing this issue really rise on the agenda. it's been an important issue for the community but not for the latinos to show up at the polls. it's not the encompassing issue for latinos we care about education and income. it is a gateway issue for latinos. it's the moderate conservatives are pushing back against the tenor of the rhetoric.
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they are going to speak on immigration in such a way. on the immigration and politics it is a gateway issue. and the republican party is split down the middle. there was a bush fought in the '90s that got into so they sent immigration is part of this country. this is how we are going to court latino voters as part of a larger agenda. the problem with immigration and the republican party.
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i really don't know if the republican party has come to that fork in the road. if they come to the fork in the road we were going to tell them down the tenor and figure out a solution. one thing we've been finding in the decision is that latinos don't hold a grudge. we ask in survey after survey if the gop were to turn the strategy and embrace the immigration reform and not a comprehensive but some sort of substantive immigration reform. i give the gop a shot. so, there is the question of an immigration is the gop going to
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pursue that vote? >> the question to you obviously a year ago the chairman of the republican national committee sat on the stage endorsing immigration reform yet here we are a year later and the senate passed this during the conference last year that the house refused to move immigration reform controlled by the republican leadership and given her comments what do you think? >> without question on the minority of the political narrative the impression that is given the republican party hasn't done a good job on that front it comes to immigration. we should flood it and change it from within.
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it's strong because the economic system we should be fighting for economic system that absorbs those immigrants and it is good for the economy and the future. >> we have been able to invest and have been involved by the tea parties. the preference is the pathway to citizenship. we are fo for that but we also understand that the political realities and the democratic party doesn't get. it should be the republican and democratic party and the bipartisan spirit and fixing the differences.
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on the path to citizenship as of this morning i don't feel that. if we have conservative principles. hopefully we can work together to make that happen. >> i said at the beginning of the reasons i write doesn't pass the reform is because they don't want us to vote. when you look at these principles -- he worked hard because the right isn't going to let it pass into the way we build the political power -- spinnaker weekend work together on this because here's what we have to do to build political
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power. holding them accountable those are the ones we are running in november on the right with the increased latino vote to get them out of office and hopefully we can have an immigration reform. the conservative principle problem is that it's not just immigration on it's also when you look at other things that you hold dear. when you look at the environment we want to have a clean environment to be with our children and grandchildren and when we think about our jobs we want to have regulations that allow us to work and get paid a good living wage. not just immigration but across the board on the right-wing principles. however you have the great value to the organization to try to move them towards these things but it's not going to work in the community.
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whatever happened with regards to immigration as these gentlemen pointed out a stalemate. it's the stalemate that we are seeing at the federal level between the executive and the congress. and it's not going to budge in the short term an amy the next o to three years. i am going to train the spotlight on something else which is state and local level politics with regards to immigration. nothing is happening in dc but at the end of the day people carry out their lives on a day-to-day basis in their neighborhoods and their cities and their counties and we see a lot of the most happening to folks who are getting picked up and deported on the criminals. they are breaking the law and
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they need to leave because they have a criminal record or whatnot. but how the school boards can affect the lives were generally so we can go back and forth and point fingers. president obama, mitch mcconnell, harry reid, democrats, republicans that's not going to get us anywhere. what can you do because you here today i may b made the lever tht politics is local so that is the viewpoint i would want to leave you off with. at the 435 congressional races and legislative races in statewide races.
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obviously it is trending and i think the way things are looking right now if you take a look at the political map across the country they are going to take this into talking more viable. they are going to hold up the house. i think they are disillusioned in the obama administration. favorability dropped three points since january in the ande hispanic community. obamacare was a 60%. they are now in disfavor with obamacare so you are seeing that there has been nothing delivered on jobs, the deportation has increased. there's been no action on immigration reform. so you are seeing a lot of disillusionment and frustration on the part of the electorate. i say that because i see it as a window for the republican party as an observer they need to step
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in and have great candidates that drive the great ideas because i think hispanics are at a crossroads again. we are back in the middle at the fork in the road and it's not enough for the republicans to just stand there and say generalization is applauded. they need to earn our vote. we are going to solidify and i don't think the democrats have done that. >> what happen happened in the m election is we have a drop-off and the problem among the latino voters is it allows for those on the right to increase their power and in so doing that means that immigration reform is going to be harder to do it clean environmenand the cleanenvironmo
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and i hope that we can flip the script of this year and believe that we do that to increase the turnout over the previous midterms and a substantial way is to actually spotlight the problems we are seeing on the right those are the ones that hold up immigration reform. i think that is the perfect example of the states where is the springboard from the immigrant position getting the latinos out to vote we can remove an obstacle and for someone running for the senate from taking positions. something special happened here --
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>> coming into elected office. i suppose demographics are not destiny. we talked about throughout the latino political power and at
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the end of the day we have to make that happen together so pleased join us and don't forget to donate. >> this cycle isn't going to be about who is more articulate. it's about how the country is going to look. it's about how we are going to be as a community as a nation and so i think we should welcome folks to writing that conversation. let's engage in the ideas and have an honest date. that's what we aim to do.
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>> out of this agreement and feeling uncomfortable, that is what mobilizes you and gets you the vote and i want us to keep thinking about the importance of our political maturation from marching in the streets we are still marching but we are voting more and getting money and expanding to build more latino elected officials. >> please join me in thanking our opening panel. [applause]
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more now from the national association of latino elected and appointed officials and will conference including remarks by labor secretary tomas perez and alberto gonzales. next california governor jerryan brown and the state attorney general harris talks about the community, civil rights and immigration. >> thank you very much. i'm pretty excited to be called a quarterback since i never played football because i was 5'3"short.
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that was a complex.ll i was on the debate team. it's not the least of which because of the leadership of the senator and others and we've got the biggest delegation ever in california out of all of the rest of the country bigger than texas but anyway, friendly competition.n the tuition for the undocumentes students and the second was eligibility for scholarships for the undocumented students.
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[applause] and then since we are still, bee waiting for that whatever they a call that i signed the bill to let an undocumented law school graduate pass the state bar become a lawyer legalized in california. [applause] so that's pretty good you can u can pr practice law in california even if it doesn't recognize that you want to be voting in california. but if we keep doing something like that we are not waiting. that's why they said the driver's license. i it's ten years ago there were 60% of the people thatll were% f the against building undocumented.na t around for one big reason, not politicians and people in participation's, thene
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sheer power of the latino community as it is felt in the towns and cities and counties up and down the state so that isnis the tide is turning the political feelings and - philosophy of state government. there is one more bill and that- m the legislature. when i finosd that everybody thinks i did it. th i did i the legislatures get jealt.ous of the governor. he gets all the credit. anyways anyway, there's another bill thd that says if you have an organizing drive and employees want to organize the union and immigratioalls up the service to defeat that effort in the retaliation law so we give them
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the right to organize. the school funding formula the legislature passed is very important. i think it's the first time that it's being spent not equally. it used to be very important = bang for the school districts and a lot of places we haven't even done that yet. in california we have on = based on the needs like the families that speak the language they get a special consideration and the school district gets more money based on the number of small english-speaking families that have their children in schools. it's not really justice to treat unequaled equally. you have to do more to be able
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to create that opportunity and the pathway and that speaking english. so anyway we've done that in california. the english-language learners needs excellent schools as well as for low-income families. so that's about half the students in california. it's pretty amazing. the schools are from low-income families. so what can i say. but we understand that and we are doing something about it. what's important is that the power you represent is growing in really important ways.
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the connection in mexico was so close it wasn't really all that long ago. they said occupied san diego. you didn't know california started with the occupied movement. occupy san diego and occupied monterey and thus far they came up with 1769. and then of course throughout 1846. but the point is you never keep control forever. you have to stay ahead of the way. that's what we call brown power. [applause]
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but anyway. i ran for president three times and did not quite make it. five primaries twice. you have to win 25. have 40% of latino descent and we are forming agreements with mexico, china, british columbia on trade in joint research. -- trade and joint research. scholarships yeah, there's a border, but there's sg bigger, and that is the human family. and when we focus on the western hemisphere and we focus on baja, california, and alta, california, we though that we are one greater family that is working together, and that's my philosophy in alta, california,
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and together i think we can have a better, a better state. when i was governor the last time -- by the way, i signed the bilingual education bill. that's a long time ago. [applause] i also called for a common market between mexico, california -- not california, the united states. i sometimes forget. [laughter] mexico, united states and canada. and we're going to get to that eventually because, you know, this is where it is, and we're all together in some big sense. so anyway, thank you very much. i think this is great. you're getting more powerful all the time, and stick to it! you know, once you get elected, don't get unelected. [laughter] i can tell you. i've been in power, and i've been out of power. it's better to be in than to be out. thank you very much. [cheers and applause]
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>> another historical reference for those californians out there, 20 years ago this year that the voters of california passed proposition 187. what many would argue was a precursor to the arizona law, the georgia law, the utah law, all the other anti-immigrant laws in recent years. and as i look around the room in the year 2014, i see school board members and council members and mayors and supervisors and legislators, and come saturday, members of congress. so it's true. we keep coming. and we have governor brown, someone who embraces us when we keep coming. so thank you, governor brown. [applause] our next speaker is the attorney general for the state of
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california. [applause] the honorable kamala harris. and, boy, are we fortunate to have her serving us in this capacity. her already-stellar career began in 2003 when she won her first election defeating an incumbent to become the district attorney of the city and county of san francisco. in november 2010 she was elected california's -- excuse me, 2003. in 2010 she was elected california's attorney general, becoming the first african-american, the first south asian and the first woman ever to hold that post. [applause] it's a powerful job, it's a busy job, but i think something that speaks volumes of her commitment and her values is her relentless fight against financial institutions to provide justice and restitution for families, a
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lot of latino families, unduly impacted by the foreclosure crisis in america. i'll let her brag about that. a lot of people call her a rising star in california politics. i disagree. of she's a rock star for us here in the state of california. please welcome the honorable kamala harris. [applause] ♪ ♪ >> thank you, thank you. [applause] welcome to california and thank you, my dear friend, alex. i am so proud to support you as you continue in your leadership in our great state, and we have an embarrassment of riches, to be sure. i know the first latino senate pro tem in modern history is here as well. [applause]
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we have an embarrassment of riches, and, you know, all of us here are elected, are appointed, so we now how our profession can be. but i will tell you that we are very fortunate to have a lot of stars in this state who work together and are truly friends and committed to our collective desire and responsibility to serve the people we represent. so thank you for that generous introduction. so welcome. i'm, there's so much i want to say, but i've been given seven minutes, so i'm going to keep it brief. but i think that it's important to recognize, as everyone here clearly is, the significance of naleo and its reason for being. and in appreciating its reason for being and its purpose and its responsibility and the duty it has assumed, we know then that all of us in this room have many things in common in spite of the fact that we have diverse interests and priorities in many
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ways. but we have at least two things in common, i think all of us, and the one is that for most of us in this room we are one of the first if not the first to do what we do. and for most of us in this room, if not everyone in this room, we do what we do because we believe truly in the magnificence of our country and are committed to fighting for its highest ideals at every step of the way. and so when i think about the purpose and the reason for being and the commonality that we share, i think of it also in the context of something we will commemorate or celebrate next week which is the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act of 1964. and in thinking about the civil rights act of 1964, 50 years later, we know it and remember
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it to be a product of a coalition of people who came together to the fight for the ideals of our country, for that promise we made in 1776 that we are all and should be treated as equals. we know that in the coalition that came around that movement there were people who fought hard and some who died to make it real and make it true. and we know then, also, for many reasons that document is not just a piece of paper that was signed into law 50 years ago. it is very much still a living, breathing document; a document that outlined for our country and reminds, unfortunately, some folks who may need to be reminded of the great promise which indicates that there are certain fundamental rights that always must be protected. there are fundamental rights that relate to education, that relate to economic opportunity,
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that relate to giving human beings and the people who live in this country the ability to live a productive life and live with dignity. so when i think about the work we are all here to rededicate ourselves to doing and the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act, can't help but reflect on where we are today. on the issue of education, for example, we look at this country and we know that the graduation rates from high school for communities of color are embarrassing. we look at the graduation rates, and we see that for white students it's 7ed %, for latino students it's 68%, and for african-american students it's 62% who will graduate from high school in our country. when we look at an issue like we've been examining in california, the issue of elementary school truancy, kindergarten through sixth
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graders missing 50, 60, up to 80 days of school as the youngest of our children and recognize that among latino elementary school students in california, they are absent four and a half times more than their white counterparts. we know that as it relates to that fundamental right to have equal access to education, that there is still a lot of work to be done. when we look at the issue of economics and the right, the ability everyone should have to work hard and in that way aspire to and, in fact, live the american dream, we know that in terms of equal access to that opportunity there's still a lot of work to be done these 50 years later. we can look at the statistics that tell us white women earn 78 cents on the dollar compared to white men, african-american women earn 64 cents on the
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dollar with that comparison, latinas earn 53 cents on the dollar in that comparison. we still have a lot of work to do. when we look at the fundamental principles underlying the motivation for and creation of the civil rights act, we also know that it was not designed with an understanding that in this great country of ours there should never be an underclass. there should never be a very defined group of people who are forced to live in the shadows, who are considered second class. and then when we look at, as has been discussed, what is not happening in washington, d.c. around comprehensive immigration reform, we know we have a lot of work yet to do. we can look at it also in terms of something that my office and i have worked on for the last few years in california, relating the issue of the need for immigration reform to an
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issue that all of us know our constituents have on their top list of priorities which is public safety. and we can connect that then to a policy that was called secure communities. and in mapping out how it worked, we know -- and, in fact, i issued a bulletin in 2012 to say it ain't working as it was intended and designed to do. and, in fact, it allowed the immigration service to pick up and detain up to 30% of undocumented immigrants who by i.c.e.'s own definition were noncriminal. so i issued a bulletin to all of the police chiefs and sheriffs and district attorneys of california back then letting them know of the research that we had done that makes it very clear those detainer requests are just that, a request, they are not mandatory, and let's leave it up to the discretion of
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our law enforcement leaders in those particular communities to make the decision about what is in the best interest of public safety for their community instead of allowing them to use the limited resources we have to make sure that we have a country that is stable and great. and in particular, let us not be subsumed in a way that recognizes something that is very important. we have to recognize that we have designed our system of government in this country in a very smart way, and we all know that as elected and appointed officials. there are the responsibilities of the federal branch, there are the responsibilities of the state branch, there are the responsibilities of the local branch. public safety, rightly, was designed as the responsibility of the local branch. and as a career prosecutor who has personally prosecuted everything from low level offenses to homicides, i will tell you that a system like secure communities that allows victims of crime to live in the shadow because the predator convinces her that it is she
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that will be treated like the criminal if she goes to a law enforcement or a police officer, that is not a smart public policy decision, and it is not true to the ideals of our country in saying that we will not have an underclass or those that live this in the shadows. and finally, when i think about this issue, i think about it in the context of, again, who we all are in this room. you know, my mother used to have a saying, and she would say to my sister and me, um, you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you're not the last. [applause] and i know that when we talk about the ideals of naleo, it is very much about that. but i also think about this room, and when i look around at the folks who are here -- and i know that many of us share another common experience, which is that experience that i'm sure many of you have had where somebody, a constituent, shows
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up at the front window of your office, and they say the only person they want to speak with is you. i've had that experience -- shows up and talks. that highlights that experience, the great duty and responsibility those of us in this room have. yes, our interests are diverse. our priorities are diverse and varied and many. but we in this room also carry an additional responsibility and duty to insure that the people who are so proud of the fact that we stand in these places make sure that their voices are heard knowing often they are some of the most voiceless. so we have the responsibility of being the voice for the voiceless, and we have the responsibility of insuring as we go forward that we cultivate
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with the folks who are proud of us, cultivate their trust in our government. and these may seem like two different points, but they are entirely connected because when we as a country get to the point where all people feel the protection of the civil rights act to the extent that they have full trust in their government, then we will truly be living the ideals of our country. so i thank everyone here for your leadership. [applause] ♪ ♪ >> good afternoon. [speaking spanish] great to be here, great to be back. it's old homes day. hey, larry, how you doing back there? we're both still bald. [laughter]
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but bald is better. [laughter] that's what governor brown tells me. [laughter] so, hey, it's great to see everybody, and senator padilla, thank you for your kind introduction. al welcomes has been a very -- alex has been a very good friend for a long time and a wonderful leader here in california, so thank you for your leadership. there's arturo over here. he is a force of nature. you look up the term force of nature in the dictionary, you'll see arturo vargas. so thank you so much. and i would be remiss if i did not acknowledge one of the icons of the civil rights movement to your right, delores huerta. [cheers and applause] it's an honor to be here. you know, i'm kind of the wrong person to be talking about the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement in the sense that i feel like i'm a student of the movement, and when you are here in the presence of, you know -- [speaking spanish] of the movement and leaders of
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the movement, it truly is humbling. and so, delores, it's great to see you again. and thank you for everything you have done to expand opportunity for so many people across this nation. [applause] i also want to acknowledge when you work at the department of justice, it's a real honor. i also want to acknowledge our former attorney general, al we are toe -- alberto gonzalez. it's an honor to be with you here as well, mr. attorney general. [applause] there are many anniversaries. kamala mentioned the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act. but over the last year or so, there have been a number of remarkable anniversaries that we have noted that really give us pause, a time to reflect, renew and redouble our efforts. we celebrated roughly a year ago the 50th anniversary of dr. king's letter from the birmingham jail. we celebrated or marked, really, the 50th anniversary of the 16th
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street bombing. more recently at the department of labor, we marked an anniversary that you might be a little bit less aware of. it was the 145th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad. and the reason i note that one is because we have a labor hall of fame, and to the mark that anniversary, we inducted the chinese-american railroad workers into that hall of fame. [applause] because they are part of the all-too-frequently-untold story of the civil rights struggle. and when there's the iconic photo in utah where the transcontinental railroad was finally completed, notably absent in that photo were the railroad workers. and they actually had to go on strike for better wages. they had so many acts of courage, and it was so remarkable to be able to pay honor to them at the department
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of labor so recently. and it was so wonderful recently to go to the viewing of the movie about cesar chavez. because, for me, cesar chavez brings together the two passions of my professional life; labor rights and civil rights. they are inextricably intertwined. cesar chavez understood that the most important thing he could do for farm workers was to get the right of collective bargaining, to make sure that they could form a union and bargain together. and that's really what the president was talking about a year ago when we marked the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. because as you know, the march on washington was a march for jobs, and it was a march for justice. it was a march on washington for jobs and freedom. it was a march for civil rights, and it was a march for labor rights.
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there were posters there, the "i am a man" campaign. i've kind of taken a little liberty to say i am a person campaign. [laughter] because, you know, they were looking to increase the minimum wage, and they were looking to make sure that the right to vote existed. they were marching for civil rights, and they were marching for labor rights. they were marching to make sure that racial justice existed in this country, and they were marching to insure that economic justice was insured in this country. and there were so many titans who were involved in that whether it's a. philip randolph, cesar chavez, so many other people who were so heavily involved. and as president obama said last year to mark that 50th anniversary on the steps of the lincoln memorial, i'd been in this job for about a month, and i remember those days. and he said: for the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were there not in search of some abstract ideal, they were there seeking jobs as well as justice,
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not just the absence of oppression, but the presence of economic opportunity. and the passage of the civil rights act less than a year later was truly historic triumph. and as somebody who has had the privilege of enforcing that law, i took it as a solemn obligation because i am acutely aware of the number of people who made the ultimate sacrifice to insure passage of that law. and so, you know, it's really time today to make sure that we note our progressing but also -- progress but also discuss the unfinished business. and, indeed, tremendous progress has been made. and i think some of the best examples are, you know, kamala harris as one of our speakers. another example, senator padilla himself. it's a remarkable nation that allows the son of people living
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here in l.a. to go to mit and to have the sky be the limit. that's what the civil rights act was about. you look at the president of the united states, and, you know, one of the most remarkable days of my life and i suspect your life was election day 2008 where this nation made history. and i'm confident it won't be the last time we make history, because the civil rights struggle is a marathon relay. the baton is in our courts today. we have made, indeed, remarkable progress, but we have more work to do. and that unfinished business of america is the unfinished business that you do day in and day out. i had the good fortune of serving as a local elected official, as a state cabinet secretary and now in two different positions in the federal government at the justice department and now the department of labor. i have so much respect for the work that all of you who are in local government do and all of
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you who are working in state government do. because the rubber hits the road in local government. i saw that firsthand. there's so much you can do to further the goals of the civil rights act of 1964 and all of the other civil rights laws and economic justice laws that were passed to insure access to opportunity. and you are, indeed, doing it. because we're having a few challenges in washington moving the legislative needle. but across this country, you have been incubators of education, pioneers of fairness and opportunity, and you continue to do that. and so i take my hat off to you. because you're doing so much, and you have so many tools. i hope you will continue to use them. because, you know what? we do have a lot of unfinished business. we have head so much progress -- we have made so much progress in areas. one statistic that people don't know is that the latino dropout
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rate over the last ten years has declined 50%. that's a remarkable statistic that we can all point to. [applause] finish as a matter of pride. and that is because there has been a concerted effort. we're all in this together. local governments, local leaders, local businesses recognizing that this is an economic imperative, it's a moral imperative, it's a civil rights imperative. and you have been working hard, and we continue to work. and that is a ten-year effort under republican and democratic administrations. this is not a partisan issue, reducing dropout rates, increasing graduation rates, increasing access to skills so that people can punch their ticket to the middle class. and so we need to continue that progress because we also know that that is a wonderful statistic, but there are other statistics that aren't so good. when i was in the civil rights division, i traveled the country, and i saw all too
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frequently that there were too many school districts that remain so many years after brown separate and unequal. i saw the school-to-prison pipeline result for black and brown kids all too frequently. access to opportunity being denied, and being denied really remarkably perversely. i did an event once in meridian, mississippi, with about ten kids who were sitting up on a dais just like me, and you were sitting right down there, and i could see under the table their footwear. and what they all had in common was that they had an ankle bracelet on. these were kids 13 and 14 who were already in the system. and i asked them what did you do? well, one person had the wrong colored tie, one person had the wrong colored socks, one person spoke out, one person was guilty of flatulence. i'm not kidding, i'm not making
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this stuff up. and that got them into the school-to-prison pipeline. that is not who we are as a nation. we need to be smarter than that. and that is why so many people see access to opportunity remaining elusive. access to equal housing opportunity for all too many people remains elusive. the corrosive power of fine print all too frequently during the housing bubble transferred and transformed the american dream of home ownership into the american nightmare. and my last year at the department of justice we ended up recovering on behalf of victims of lending discrimination -- primarily latinos and african-americans -- more money than in the previous be 25 years combined. because we saw this problem across the nation, and we worked for people. [applause] and i will tell you here is a sad reality, and it's a reality we must acknowledge. much of the challenge were
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latinos abusing latinos and african-americans abusing african-americans. [speaking spanish] would be the sign at the storefront. and people would be brought in, and they would be lured to trust. and then that trust would be abused. and that was part of the story of the meltdown and the lending discrimination that we had to look at. we're turning a corner, but all too many people lost their wealth. we see so many challenges persistent in our world of policing. i spent way too much time in my last job in maricopa county. that was not smart policing that i observed out there in maricopa county. [applause] you know, there's often that false choice. we either keep our communities safe, or we safeguard the constitution. i categorically reject that false choice. we can have safe policing and
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constitutional policing, and, in fact, they go hand in hand. the consent decree we did just up the road in los angeles was great proof of that, that you can do safe, effective and constitutional policing and reduce crime at the same time and promote public confidence in law enforcement. we continue to have these challenges across america, part of the unfinished business. we continue to have challenges in the voting context. next year is the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday and the 50th anniversary of the civil rights act of 19 -- of the voting rights act of 1965. and what we continue to see here today are all too many ill-advised efforts to restrict as opposed to expand the right to voting. you know, i was amused, i thought one of the most remarkable comments and quotes on some of the efforts at these voter id laws was from colin
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powell. general powell in connection with a north carolina effort asked the following question: how can this phenomenon of voter fraud be so widespread and at the same time so undetected? and when we did our case in texas, the record demonstrated over a ten-year period i needed one hand to count the documented issues -- incidents of alleged voter fraud. and when i went to that one hand, actually it ended up being at most one thumb that i needed to document the so-called voter fraud for which this was the solution. it is our most sacred right, and we should be working to expand the rights of eligible voters to vote. and you've been working on that. that's never been a bipartisan -- that's never been a partisan issue, and it shouldn't be a partisan issue. and that's why people like colin powell and john lewis speak up about these issues.

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